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Flabby Cat and Slobby Dog

Overview

This new, quirky picture book by award-winning duo Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross is essential reading for couch potatoes!

Flabby Cat and Slobby Dog were very lazy. They ate and ate and ate. They drank and drank and drank. And they slept and slept and slept. But when they woke up, they were most uncomfortable. The sofa had shrunk! Or so they liked to think!

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Overview

This new, quirky picture book by award-winning duo Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross is essential reading for couch potatoes!

Flabby Cat and Slobby Dog were very lazy. They ate and ate and ate. They drank and drank and drank. And they slept and slept and slept. But when they woke up, they were most uncomfortable. The sofa had shrunk! Or so they liked to think!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The dimwitted titular hero and heroine of this story eat too much and exercise too little; when their comfy home can no longer accommodate their ever-growing girth, they decide to visit a “cunning tiger” and “wild wolf” from a TV show, in hopes that the animals might take them in (“They are our distant relatives, after all,” notes Flabby Cat). Although that goal is never realized, the quest itself proves just the ticket, as its hardships transform them from out-of-shape to sleek and svelte (“When they were hungry, they had to hunt for food. So they couldn't eat and eat and eat”). Ross's watercolor cartooning displays its customary energy and wry wit, and these frequent collaborators deserve praise for being able to walk the fine line between comedy and cruelty in their portrayal of the consequences of obesity. But the book never quite escapes the clutches of didacticism. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Readers can laugh along as we meet Flabby Cat and Slobby Dog in a cautionary tale of what happens when they just keep doing what they always do. They eat and eat, sleep and sleep, and grow ever fatter, finally overflowing the couch and even the house. They then decide to do something different—to visit their distant relatives, cunning tiger and wild wolf. As they search for them over seas and mountains and through deserts, they must hunt for their food and water so they cannot eat and eat. They cannot sleep and sleep either, for they must stay alive. When they finally get to the jungle, the tiger and wolf are not there. They decide that tiger and wolf may very well be at their house, sitting on their sofa. They trek off home. There in the mirror they think they see tiger and wolf but it is, of course, only a slim Dog and a trim Cat after their adventures. "…and for the first time in a long time, they felt really comfortable with who they were." Ross's black outlines and watercolor supplements continue to tell effective comic tales. He shows clearly and humorously the gradual gross increases in body sizes along with the masses of food being eaten. His inventiveness depicts actions that add zip to the text as Dog and Cat proceed with their quest. Do not miss the mice cavorting in the background. The lesson about the perils of obesity is clear amid the fun. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Longtime friends Flabby Cat and Slobby Dog have fallen into comfortable, lazy routines, doing nothing but eating and sleeping. When they can no longer fit on their couch, they ignore what is happening to them. And when they outgrow their house, they tell themselves that it has shrunk. They set off to find their "distant relatives," a tiger and a wolf, in hopes of living with them. The pair walks hither and yon, through cities and fields, to no avail, and food is scarce. Returning home, they spy their sleek new selves in a mirror: "For the first time in a long time, they felt really comfortable with who they were." Ross's watercolor and line cartoons depict the animals growing larger and larger, with clothes straining over their stomachs and food covering most surfaces in their home. However, the pictures may prove confusing as they are at odds with the text ("the cushions almost filled the room," etc.), and children may not understand the pair's underlying problem, and that they have slimmed down because they have gotten more exercise.—Susan E. Murray, Glendale Public Library, AZ
Kirkus Reviews
Eating right and exercising is undoubtedly an excellent prescription for good health. Unfortunately, good advice, however well intentioned, rarely makes for an enjoyable story, particularly when it's delivered in a condescending tone. Willis invites readers to laugh at, not with, her characters by making them both fat and stupid. The anthropomorphized animals, shown living in squalor and wearing stereotypical lower-class clothing, believe that their sofa is shrinking. They comfort themselves with food and sleep and television until the day that they simply can't fit into their cozy house. Setting out to find their "distant relatives," the "cunning tiger" and "wild wolf," they travel the world only to wind up back home again, much slimmer and much happier. Ross's typically scratchy illustrations capture the action of the plot but can't inject enough individuality into the characters to make readers really care about them. His comedic skills are sorely underused, which is too bad as the heavy-handed message could have used some help. Skip this sermon and enjoy a nice walk outside instead. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761351511
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Series: Andersen Press Picture Bks
  • Pages: 24
  • Sales rank: 1,290,006
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.80 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    gentle reminder about the need to get more exercise

    What should a dog and a cat do when they've grown too large to sit on their sofa together? One day when Slobby Dog comes home, he sits next to Flabby Cat on the sofa, but they just can't get comfortable. Slobby Dog thinks that the sofa has shrunk, and Flabby Cat says that the cushions have grown, but in either case it is very uncomfortable. So, what should they do? They do what they have always done. They eat and eat and eat, and then they sleep and sleep and sleep. But the sofa keeps growing smaller and smaller. Or the cushions keep growing bigger and bigger. Yet for days and days they just eat and sleep. One day, they do something different. They watch a television show about a cunning tiger and a wild wolf. Then they eat and eat and eat, and sleep and sleep and sleep some more. Finally, it seems as if the whole house has shrunk! So they decide to leave and live with their distant relatives, the cunning tiger and the wild wolf. But something happens to them while they are walking, and running, and climbing in search of the tiger and wolf. What is it that happens? And will they ever find a place to live? Health experts tell us that obesity in children is a growing problem of modern society. A lot of kids are eating way too much of the wrong kinds of food and not getting enough exercise because they're staying in to watch television or play computer games. In Flabby Cat and Slobby Dog, the simple text by Jeanne Willis and the humorous illustrations by Tony Ross combine to present to youngsters, in a way that they can understand and even visualize, the importance of watching what they eat and getting more exercise. Parents and teachers should find this book a useful resource to help preschoolers and early readers to be more health conscious without sounding too "preachy."

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